Frequently asked questions
Should I have a will?
A will is a legal document directing who is to receive your estate when you die.
Anyone over the age of 18 who has family responsibilities or owns property or investments should have a will. That way, if you die, your loved ones will be looked after and your assets will go to the people you choose, rather than those dictated by the government or the courts.
If you die without a will (i.e. intestate) your assets will be distributed according to the laws of the State or Territory in which you lived at the time of your death. That may not be the way you would have wanted your assets distributed.
How do I make a will?
There are a number of ways to make a will:
- A solicitor can help you draft a will. Some people draft their own wills using kits bought from a newsagency or post office. There are certain requirements for a will to be valid so using an expert can ensure it’s right.
- SCIA has a relationship with the law firm Slater & Gordon and at times they provide discounted legal services for SCIA members.
- You can seek assistance from your state Attorney General’s Office. There is a government body in each state that can help you make a will, and for a fee, can help you manage deceased states.
Can I afford to leave a gift in my will to SCIA?
It’s a common misconception that only wealthy people leave money to a charity when they die. The reality is that most bequests are made by ordinary, hard-working people who want to make a positive difference to their community after they’re gone.
You can leave any amount or even a percentage of your estate and you can be assured that you are helping us continue to support our members into the future.
Over the years we have received bequests from different types of people - even if your circumstances have meant that you cannot donate during your lifetime, you can still support SCIA by leaving a gift in your will.
Not everyone who leaves a gift in their will to SCIA has been a long-time supporter of our work.
What type of gift should I leave?
In your will you can specify the type of donation you would like to leave. This might be a:
- General cash gift
- Residual of your estate
- Percentage of your estate
- Gift of a percentage of the residual
- A specific gift
General or unspecified donations are especially valuable to SCIA as they allow the gift to be allocated to the area of greatest need at the time of the gift.
Can I include SCIA in a will I already have?
You can include SCIA in your will if you already have a will written by including a codicil.
A codicil is an instruction which is added to your existing will and in effect, becomes part of that will. A codicil is an easy way to include a bequest without having to re-write your will. It is a legal document and must be signed and witnessed in the same way as your will, ie. by two independent witnesses.
Although it is not difficult to make a codicil you would be best advised to see a legal adviser to help you draw it up. Usually it is a quick and inexpensive process.
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